Want your package to arrive by Christmas 2019? A guide to all your shipping deadlines

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If you visit UPS’s website, you’ll see the following message across the top of its Holidays page: “2019 Holiday Shipping Alert: Fewer shipping days ahead.”

Because Thanksgiving fell on Nov. 28, everything got pushed back -- even Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

And now, all of a sudden, it’s December. Some of you are probably wondering when you need to get your packages in the mail, right?

The holidays are sneaking up quickly already.

For what it’s worth, USA Today reports that the U.S. Postal Service’s busiest time of the season is two weeks before Christmas. So perhaps this is the year to be proactive and get out there a little early. Just encourage your recipients to keep their presents wrapped and out of the kids’ hands until we get a little closer to Dec. 25, you know?

Also worth noting: this year, Hanukkah runs from Dec. 22 through Dec. 30.

So let’s get you some dates, shall we?

Here are some recommended send-by dates for expected delivery by Dec. 25:

U.S. Postal Service

  • Dec. 14: USPS Retail Ground shipments
  • Dec. 18: Alaska to mainland First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 19: Hawaii to mainland First-Class Mail and Priority Mail, also Alaska Priority Mail
  • Dec. 20: First-Class Mail Service
  • Dec. 21: Priority Mail; Also deadline for Alaska and Hawaii to the mainland through Priority Mail Express
  • Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express

Trying to send something overseas or to a member of the military? Click or tap here to check out the guide we followed from USPS, and to learn more about your mailing specifics and guidelines.


  • Dec. 9: SmartPost
  • Dec. 16: Ground and home delivery
  • Dec. 19: Express Saver
  • Dec. 20: Several two-day options
  • Dec. 23: Overnight options: Standard, Priority and First Class
  • Dec. 25: FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City Direct and City Priority

Learn more, including information about costs, through FedEx’s website.

United Parcel Service -- UPS

  • Dec. 13: Last day to ship some UPS Ground packages.

UPS did say on its website that most UPS Ground shipments will have later “last shipping” days. This date above is for the longest shipments. Check your shipment’s transit time by using this handy site.

  • Dec. 19: Last day to ship via UPS 3 Day Select.

This is also the last day to prearrange pickup service for Air and international Air packages if needed on Dec. 24.

  • Dec. 20: Last day to ship via 2nd Day Air.

From UPS’s website: “All UPS Next Day Air packages picked up (this day) will be scheduled for delivery on Monday, Dec. 23 unless processed and labeled for Saturday delivery on Dec. 21. Saturday Delivery is not available to all ZIP codes.”

  • Dec. 23: Next Day Air

“(This) is the last day to ship UPS Next Day Air packages scheduled for delivery on Tuesday, Dec. 24 with a UPS On-Call, or scheduled, pickup, or by visiting a The UPS Store location or a UPS Authorized Service Location.”

Learn more UPS specifics.

As for Amazon deadlines, you’re likely looking at Dec. 22 or Dec. 23, depending on if you’re a Prime member, where you live and what you’re ordering.

Happy ordering!

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